Sandra Masters of LJ Hooker Kippax has just returned from the Australasian Auctioneering Championships where she was the only female competitor.
It’s not a field many women get into, she admits, but it’s not because they can’t project their voices.
“If you think that, you clearly haven’t heard me call a property,” she laughs.
“You can hear me two blocks away.”
Ms Masters says women make excellent auctioneers.
“I’m not sure why there aren’t more women in the field. It’s possible perhaps people expect women to be somewhat diminutive,” she says.
“A really good auctioneer finds a sweet spot between commanding an audience and building rapport with potential bidders without being condescending or pushy. Buyers can be put off bidding if they feel intimidated.
“I’ve seen many female auctioneers who have managed to nail that ‘large presence’ and balance it with the softer, more welcoming qualities that potential buyers respond to.”
It’s that exact balance that the team behind the Strathnairn Charity House will be counting on come March 25 when Ms Masters calls this high-stakes auction.
Master Builders ACT and the Ginninderry Joint Venture are collaborating on designing and constructing the premium home in Strathnairn, which will be auctioned off for charity.
The project has seen dozens of builders, apprentices, subcontractors and trade suppliers donating their time to deliver the home.
Materials and labour have been donated or provided at low cost by Master Builders Association members, led by KANE Constructions.
Proceeds from the sale will be donated to Hands Across Canberra for distribution to Karinya House, Pegasus Riding for the Disabled and Canberra City Care.
Master Builders ACT CEO Michael Hopkins says more than $600,000 worth of goods and services have been donated to date, with more to come.
“I’m incredibly proud of the local industry’s impact on those in need across the Capital region,” he says.
Extending on the project’s use of a female-led design and construction team, Ms Masters is just one of the all-female team engaged to market and sell the property.
Cris O’Brien (home.by holly), Lisa Silberberg (Ray White), Natalie Kokic Schmidt (Marq Property) and Sandy Morris (My Morris) form the rest of the dream team of real estate agents who will leverage their experience and networks and fetch the best price for the home.
Ginninderry Joint Venture Project Director Stephen Harding says the project team was looking forward to seeing the results of their collective efforts.
“As a project that has been designed and predominantly built by women, it is a pleasure to see this dream team of real estate agents assemble to collectively shine a light on the Strathnairn Charity House in the lead-up to the March auction,” he says.
The house is expected to be finished by Christmas, with styling and finishing touches completed in January. The listing will then go up on Zango.
Side charity events may be held to drum up additional interest, but Ms Masters says the most powerful selling tool will be the agents themselves.
“These are some extremely successful agents from a diverse range of agencies. They all have different approaches to marketing, experiences, skill sets and strengths,” she says.
“It’s going to be exciting to see what can happen when the collective capabilities of these different brands and agencies all come together and are put to good use.
“We’re all very good at what we do, but I think to have such a wonderful common goal to be aiming towards, to know how potentially wide-reaching the benefits will be, is highly motivating.
“You can tell this was true in the design and construction as well – this is no cookie cutter home. They’ve really given thought to opening up the buyer pool. It’s multi-generational, incredibly well designed, overlooking the reserve and the dam and a few doors from the playground. It’s one of the best spots in Strathnairn.
“I hope that plays out for the buyer as well and that, in a market where people are chasing a bargain, they’re prepared to dig a bit deeper to change so many lives for the better – and get a truly magnificent home in the process.”
For more information visit the Strathnairn Charity House webpage.